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Navigating Difficult Conversations

with Clients During a Project

September 07, 2023
navigating difficult conversations at work

Regardless of the type of consulting you run, you will eventually face sensitive client conversations. If you rarely do the math and provide top-notch customer service, sometimes customer relationship issues arise. The client may be anxious and worried about their project's progress so far.

Construction safety should always be a priority for any construction company. Regular safety meetings and toolkit discussions should be held to train workers in safe work practices and establish safety and training policies. Safety meetings and toolkit conversations are essential to building a strong safety culture and commitment to protecting your company's employees. 

Holding regular safety meetings and toolbox discussions can help employees be proactive and avoid taking safety for granted. These meetings and keynotes are also the perfect time to introduce new safety programs and procedures you are implementing, as well as train on new safety rules and regulations to keep rates in compliance with state and civil OSHA standards.

They may not expect your strategic plan to work quickly enough. Otherwise, you have to let your client know that you might not be able to meet the deadline as the task is taking much longer than expected. You'll moreover tell the client a rough idea of their trade.

All of these scripts contain sensitive client conversations. Therefore, knowing how to communicate sensitively is basic to the success of your commerce. There's no simple reply to managing requesting visitors, but with the proper techniques, you'll learn to explore them more successfully.

Honesty and Expression without Blame:

One essential and popular formative dialogue model is non-violent communication. According to Marshall Rosenberg, who created the framework, part of it is "knowing how to ask for what you want, how to hear others who disagree, and how to move toward outcomes that work for everyone." It means expressing yourself properly, but without judgment or accusation; saying what you want without being asked; as well as empathy - and creating body language consistent with that approach. Observation helps in leading the conversation in the right direction, especially when it comes to performance issues. Try to explain how the other person can improve, set an example and offer support, say experts. And make sure the dialogue is two-way; it's really important to let the other person have their say. The final guess is where the conversation takes place. If it's in the middle of an open office where everything can be heard, giving comments or compromising confidentiality on other sensitive topics can feel like a public attack. So arrange to meet in a private or at least semi-private space.

Hold a Safety Meeting Before Project Initiation:

Before starting a new construction design, hold a safety meeting with all workers on site. Open meetings should be organized to cover faults and workplace hazards that arise at each stage of construction. Safety topics covered at the opening meeting should include safe work practices for the hazardous condition and tasks to be performed, selection and proper use of special personal protective equipment (PPE), and first aid practices. Follow the technical safety measures used on the construction site.

Start with your End-game plan:

It may sound counterintuitive, but an elegant place to start a sensitive conversation is at the end. ‘What is the purpose of this conversation’? , "What do I want to get out of it in the end? ‘What things would solve the situation? ' and so on. Until you're clear about why you're having the discussion and what you need to urge out of it, do not talk about it. At that point, it might go well, but there's a great chance it won't be your perfect arrangement, in case you proceed besides, you'll come back to it within the coming weeks with a cumbersome discussion.

Choose the right Environment:

Another important part of a successful sensitive conversation is choosing a place conducive to open and honest discussion. Suppose someone were to have a sensitive conversation with you; maybe they give you bad feedback about your performance or say your agency is losing some amount on design. Where would you like this conversation to go? At the shop, when all adjoining ears would know your affair? probably not. This would put you uncontrollably on the defensive and feel like a public attack.

Pick the right person for the conversation:

Most of the time you are the one having the sensitive conversation, planning and managing the crowd is the luck of the draw. Before intervening, stop and think if there is someone better suited for this conversation to achieve the desired outcome.

Have a flexible mindset:

However, "you're more likely to be nervous and anxious about it if you're preparing for a conversation you've labelled as 'difficult. Instead, try to "frame it in a positive and less two-sided way. A conversation about development. You don't say no to your boss; you offer an alternative outcome. A difficult conversation works best when you assume it's just a normal conversation.

Plan but don’t make it scripted:

It can offer assistance to arrange what you need to say by composing down notes and focus points sometime before the discussion. Writing a script is still a waste of time. It's questionable whether it will go according to your plan. The opponent does not know his " lines", so if he "goes off script, you have nothing to go on" and the exchange becomes strangely artificial. Your conversational strategy should be 'flexible' and include 'possible responses. Your language should be simple, direct, effective and non-biased.

Toolkit Talks:

As construction project planning takes place, use toolbox conversations on a daily or weekly basis to support your focus on safety. Toolbox talks, sometimes called tailgate meetings or safety briefings, are short, informal safety meetings held at the beginning of each day or shift.

Toolbox talks are a great way to support safety fundamentals, focus on dangerous scenarios, and inform employees of changes in the workplace and working conditions that may have occurred since the last shift.

Be sure to talk about past accidents or injuries and how they could have been avoided. The toolbox meetings can be broken down to focus on solo traders or working conditions for specific people. Don't talk about electrical safety from the toolbox if only work and digging are done that day.

Be Compassionate:

Experience shows that conversations that are difficult or sensitive can be exhausting which might affect your business relations. That's why it makes sense to approach sensitive topics from a place of empathy. Be careful; to be merciful "It may not be friendly, but you can deliver sensitive news with dignity, honesty and fairness. At the same time, 'don't emote’. The worst thing you can do is ask your client to empathize with you. Don't say affectations like, "I feel so bad” or "This is hard for me to do,". Don't play the victim.

Be Calm and Listen:

The expert advises to "slow down" the conversation so that the conversation does not explode. Slowing down and breaking the meter before reacting to another individual "gives you a chance to discover the correct words" and tends to "evacuate negative feelings" from the other individual. Be that as it may, it is more likely to keep proper questions, and the discussion is always better when you hear what the other person is saying. Make sure your words coordinate your actions.

Safety Training:

All new employees, regardless of their experience, must undergo training in safe work practices, personal protective equipment and safety compliance. Formal safety training should be grouped into easy-to-understand blocks of information delivered through pre-guided tasks. Workers must be trained for workplace hazards and hazardous working conditions. Assess your employees' safety knowledge with tests and quizzes to make sure they understand the training they've received and retained what they've learned.


Dealing with outsiders can be depleting, and issues are bound to arise in the process. Whether you are a prepared consultant or a beginner, it can offer assistance to have back along the way. It's important to understand your clients and then move the conversation ahead especially which are complex or sensitive. Effective communication is the key to better and enhanced business decisions. Difficult conversation through the right medium is a great way to increase your project quality and performance.

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